Prague will reopen an assistance center for refugees in July. According to Hřiba, it is a government decision iRADIO
The center in Vysočany Prague closed in mid-June. Hřib justified this by saying that there are too many refugees in the metropolis and the city no longer has accommodation for them. This was followed by negotiations with the government on the requirement to establish a clear mechanism for the placement of refugees throughout the republic.
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However, according to Hřiba, the government decided on Wednesday that all regional centers should remain in operation. He called the decision bad, but the city will adapt to it.
“From my point of view, this is a wrong decision, because it does not deal at all with solving the situation that there are up to four times more refugees per capita in Prague than in some other regions,” he said.
He added that before opening the center, it is necessary to secure volunteers, on whom the operation depends. Therefore, the facility will not open until Monday, July 11, with opening hours from Monday to Thursday between 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., and on Fridays from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Lack of accommodation
At the same time, the center will not offer Ukrainians accommodation with the teaching of new tent cities and capacities provided by the Refugee Facilities Administration. “It could be summed up by the fact that we are opening from the 11th without accommodation,” said the mayor.
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He added that the city now has problems with the accommodation of the already present Ukrainians, because, for example, one hotel that accommodated them terminated its contract with the municipality.
“Now we are dealing with more than 200 people for whom we have to provide accommodation elsewhere,” he said. He added that, from his point of view, the government is not addressing the required relocation mechanism with sufficient priority, and its procedure should be the opposite – first create it and only then deal with the assistance centers. “It’s some kind of visiting card of the Petr Fiala government,” he added.
During the four months of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Czechia issued almost 375,000 temporary protection visas to refugees. In Prague it was about 89,000.
Minister of the Interior Vít Rakušan (STAN) said on Wednesday that the system of regional centers will at least function the same as before. In the course of the month, the government wants to evaluate how to possibly change the reception and assistance to refugees at the regional level.
There are currently 209 people in tent cities for mainly Roma refugees from Ukraine. The situation is calm. At the same time, the number of people staying overnight at the main station has decreased. Mayor Zdeněk Hřib (Pirates) said this after Thursday’s meeting of the municipal crisis team.
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“The situation in the tent cities is quite stable at the moment. There are 49 people in Troja and 160 in Malešice,” said Hřib. Since the start of operation, hundreds of people have passed through the towns.
According to the mayor, the number of refugees staying overnight at the main station has decreased. “Today there were practically only departures,” Hřib said.
Hřib attributes the decrease in people to the changed legislation, whereby if emergency shelter including food is provided, no humanitarian benefit is provided. Organizations that provided refugees with food and hygiene supplies operated at the station. This aid was officially terminated as of June 1.
The first tent city with a capacity of 150 beds was opened by the municipality of Troja on Saturday, May 14. On the first weekend, 142 people found asylum here. At the turn of May and June, a tent city with the same capacity began to operate in Malešice.
Since the start of the war in February of this year, the capital has allocated 250 million crowns each twice to help refugees. In addition to individual town halls, they also supported, among others, organizations helping refugees, to which they gave approximately 17.4 million crowns. The money was used for the operation of so-called children’s adaptation groups or for accommodation and lodging.
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